Pakistan 2012: No Summit On Mazeno Ridge After All

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Now that communications with the Mazeno Ridge team has been reestablished we’re starting to get a clearer picture of what happened on the summit push for Sandy, Rick and Cathy. Apparently the team did not summit Nanga Parbat as was reported a few days back despite the exultant Tweet that was sent out indicating success on the mountain. Instead, the team faced high winds, lots of snow and very tough conditions that ended up turning them back before they could top out.

As noted yesterday, the team was low on both food and fuel when they made their summit attempt. It had been seven days since they had set out from Base Camp and they were mostly down to reserves. Despite that, and the prediction of high winds, they elected to have a go at the summit none the less. They battled for a number of hours but in the end they were turned back due to poor conditions and exhaustion.

I think it is safe to say that this expedition is probably over. I can’t imagine that they’ll have the energy left to make another summit bid after the long, difficult climb along the Mazeno Ridge. They’ve been on the move for days now and will need lots of recovery time, even if they were to go for a Nanga summit along the traditional route.

Elsewhere, over on Gasherbrum I, Louis Rousseau’s team is now in Camp 2 and will be proceeding up to Camp 3 tomorrow. They report very cold temperatures and high winds, but they’ll evaluate the situation once they safely reach C3 and decide on when they’ll make their final push as well. That could come as early as Sunday if the weather cooperates.

Right now it seems it is all about the weather. Across the region there are a number of teams waiting and watching. Next week could be a very active one before the action begins to shift over to K2.

Kraig Becker